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FanGraphs on Tommy Hunter's Curveball

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Dave Allen over at FanGraphs has a little piece on Tommy Hunter’s fastball, notably his success at keeping it up in the zone. (It includes a link to yours truly’s Twitter feed, by the way.)

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Just look at this graph they provide comparing the height of Hunter’s curve vs. MLB average:
Curve_height_0607_medium

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via www.fangraphs.com

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The result has been, and you know this just from watching, a very successful pitch that he throws more than 1/4th of the time. It’s swung at more often than the average curve, but with little success.

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It’s kind of interesting seeing a standard pitch used in a unique way, and the fact that opponents never have to see something like that might go a ways to explaining Hunter’s success despite not having much "stuff." Let’s hope that’s something that continues, instead of being something opponents catch up to.

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That’s actually how I liked to use curves back on MVP 2005: dropping them in just in the top of the zone. Of course, that was a video game not real life.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.